THE Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has expressed readiness to collaborate with international community towards advancing oil, gas and mining sectors.
The Executive Secretary of the Agency, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, stated this at a meeting in Abuja with prominent diplomatic missions in Nigeria.
This is contained in a statement by Mrs Obiageli Onuorah, Deputy Director/Head Communication and Stakeholders’ Management, on Thursday in Abuja.
The diplomatic missions include the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Nigeria, Mr Pieter Leenknegt; the High Commissioner of Canada, Mr James Christoff, and the Chargé d’Affaires of the Australian High Commission, Ms Leann Johnston.
Orji expressed NEITI’s willingness in offering technical assistance, pursuing governance reforms and deepening its involvement in Nigeria’s oil, gas, and mining sectors.
He reaffirmed its commitment towards tackling obstacles through working with relevant ministries to open and reposition the solid minerals sector to the public engagement and debate required to implement groundbreaking reforms.
Orji described NEITI’s international affiliations, civil society partnerships and government ownership as major strengths, adding that it would prioritise the solid minerals industry, which contributes less than one per cent to the nation’s GDP.
He expressed delight in the renewed interest and support from the Belgian, Canadian and Australian embassies.
The statement also quoted the Ambassadors as saying that they closely followed NEITI’s reports and activities in the extractive sector with keen interest, and noted Nigeria’s commitment to implementing the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Nigeria, Mr Pieter Leenknegt commended the quality and depth of NEITI’s recently released 2021 Oil, Gas, and Solid Minerals Industry Reports.
Leenknegt lauded the groundbreaking disclosures on outstanding remittances to shore up government revenue, the incisive findings and recommendations, and NEITI’s overall courage in public disclosures to enhance transparency and accountability in the sector.
The Belgian envoy pledged his country’s support to NEITI with a focus on capacity building to expand its operations into the Solid Minerals sector in a manner that attracts investors, especially from Belgium.
Similarly; the High Commissioner of Canada, Mr James Christoff, welcomed Nigeria’s implementation of the EITI and identified the Solid Minerals sector as an area of special interest to Canada.
He emphasised that collaborating with a reputable agency like NEITI would provide his mission with reliable information and data to assist potential Canadian investors in making informed business decisions.
Christoff said that as a supporting country to the global EITI, the Canadian High Commission in Nigeria was willing to partner directly with NEITI in the areas of information and data sharing, training, capacity building, and providing technical support.
He expressed his contentment with NEITI’s close collaboration with Civil Society Organisations and the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals Development in combating illegal mining activities through policy reforms and coordination.
On his part, the Australian High Commission Chargé d’Affaires, Ms Leann Johnston, welcomed Nigeria’s new policy on economic diversification and expressed confidence in NEITI to support this initiative with reliable information and data in the Extractive Industries.
Established in 2004, NEITI is the key anti-corruption agency at the Presidency responsible for enthroning transparency, accountability and good governance of the country’s oil, gas and mining industries.
NEITI is a member of the global extractive industries transparency initiative (EITI) being implemented in 57 countries with International Headquarters in Oslo, Norway. (NAN)
November 2, 2023 @ 21:10 GMT|